Saoirse Ronan kicks ass and she knows it. And, she has the benefit of having a great director in Joe Wright. These are two elements you need to make a great movie. While the script has some holes and some incomplete explanations, Hanna runs exactly like it is supposed to, as a down-the-line thriller.

Raised alone in the woods by her father, Ronan’s titular character is trained as an assassin with one goal in mind: kill a woman named Marissa Veigler. Wright exacts a stunning performance out of the wise 17-year-old Ronan, who at times is subtle, at others, greatly emotional. As a linguist I enjoyed this film on the simple fact the audience hears Hanna speak five or six different languages.

Having Cate Blanchett as the main baddie doesn’t hurt things either. She is downright wicked. Eric Bana, while decent, occasionally falls flat as the girl’s father. Rounding out the cast are Tom Hollander and Jessica Barden, who both give wonderful performances, the latter providing some timed comic relief.

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